Adam Brand is one of Australia’s most popular and successful recording artists. In a career spanning twenty years he has sold more than 600,000 albums, won innumerable awards and built a large and loyal following that any recording artist would envy.
Twenty years is a long time to sustain a successful recording career. It should be respected and celebrated. So on July 13, 2018, exactly twenty years to the day since the release of Brand’s self-titled debut, ABC Music released Milestones…20 Years, a carefully curated collection of Brand’s greatest hits plus two new songs recorded exclusively for the project.
It’s 1997 and Adam Brand is living in the suburbs of Perth running a small business by day and singing in a country covers band a few nights a week. He had been turned on to country music when he stumbled across Boy Howdy, an American country band featuring Jeffrey Steele.
He records a demo with Martin Jenner, the brilliant but underrated guitar player (Everly Brothers, Ralph McTell, Cliff Richard) and drives solo across the Nullarbor in his XF Falcon ute to the Tamworth Country Music Festival where he busks on Peel Street, sneaks into a Troy Cassar Daley concert and hands out his demo to unsuspecting passers by.
From Tamworth he heads to Sydney to track down Melinda Schneider, a childhood friend who introduces him to Graham Thompson, then Creative Manager at Rondor Music, the publishing arm of A&M Records.
“That was a significant fork in the road,” reflects Adam. “Who knows what would have happened if I’d gone straight home to Perth. Graham listened to my demo’s, told me I could be the next James Blundell and offered me a publishing deal with Rondor.”
Adam signed to Rondor and soon settled in Sydney. Songs were written, demo’s recorded and an offer of a recording contract eventuated from Warren Fahey at Festival Records.
“I’m convinced that Warren signed Adam to Festival because of FMO – fear of missing out,” remembers Graham. “ABC Music were the dominant country label and Warren wanted to get in on it. I happened to sit next to him at a CMAA event in Sydney in 1997. People were saying nice things about Adam at the time but no one was jumping to sign him. I bent the truth a little about interest from other labels and he became very excited. The following Monday he sent us an agreement.”
Adam Brand’s self-titled debut album was released by Festival Records on July 13, 1998. The first single from the album ‘Last Man Standing’ became an instant radio hit and CMT (Country Music Television), who were serendipitously launching in Australia around the same time, saw the newcomer as a perfect fit for their target demographic.
Dirt Track Cowboys followed. It sounded fresh on the radio… riff driven country rock that featured a race call by Wade Aunger from Parramatta Speedway in place of a guitar solo. And it opened the door to a whole new audience: Revheads.
Brand developed a reputation as the hardest working artist in country music. Not content to sit around waiting for the world to make him famous, he and Thompson, who had by this time become his manager, drove from Far North Queensland to Western Victoria playing at schools and record stores. They visited every radio station, country music club and event promoter along the way. Album sales built steadily and the hard work didn’t go unnoticed.
Adam’s big break came at the 1999 CMAA Country Music Awards when he won three Golden Guitars: New Talent of the Year, APRA Song of the Year (Last Man Standing) and Video of the Year. It was unprecedented for the winner of New Talent of the Year to win any other award in the same year, let alone the prestigious APRA Song of the Year.
The big ball was rolling. Appearances followed on Hey Hey it’s Saturday, Good Morning Australia and others. Tours sold out quickly. Major festivals offered prime time spots and decent money. The record company and booking agency had a bona fide star who was willing to work hard. By September 1999 the debut album was certified gold and Adam had become one of Festival Records’ highest selling artists.
So what was it about this debutant from the suburbs of Perth who created such a stir in an industry in need of a shot in the arm?
Adam Brand’s songs resonated as much with people from the suburbs as they did with those from regional and rural Australia. He was a supreme live entertainer. But the real key to Adam’s popularity was that he conjured up different feelings in different people that were not mutually exclusive and worked to his advantage.
Young men related to him because he was a knockabout kind of bloke - down to earth, good natured and sang about cars and partying. Families liked him because he was down to earth, good natured and sang about family and friends. And to young women he exuded a sexual energy that they were attracted to but it was not so blatant that their boyfriends hated him. In fact their boyfriends liked him too for all the other reasons.
The debut album was followed in February 2000 with Good Friends. It built on the themes of the debut album and spawned numerous career songs: Good Friends, The Good Things In Life, I Did What?, Beating Around The Bush and You’re A Revhead. The singles were hits and the album won three more Golden Guitars - this time the three most prestigious: Album of the Year, APRA Song of the Year (Good Things In Life) and Male Artist of the Year.
And the big ball kept on rolling.
These remarkable early achievements set the pattern for a career that hasn’t waned in twenty years. They are the first chapters in the story of a gifted and much loved artist and his twelve studio albums, five gold albums, three platinum albums, four ARIA nominations, seven CMC OZ Artist of the Year awards and twelve Golden Guitars to date.
Subsequent chapters include an American record deal, touring with Taylor Swift, winning Dancing with the Stars and more. And it’s still being written, and it’s still going strong.
Milestones…20 Years marks the celebration of an outstanding career. It’s a collection of Adam’s greatest work to date plus two new songs: the reflective title track ‘Milestones’ and a foot stomping party anthem ‘Party Down Under’. Both were written with his “Outlaw” buddies Drew McAlister and Mike Carr and produced by Graham Thompson. It also includes an out take from the ‘Built For Speed’ album – a previously unreleased version of the Randy Travis classic ‘Forever and Ever Amen’ as well as ‘Hold My Hand’ and ‘Hard Times’ from Adam’s first demo session with Martin Jenner. And Sherriff Bullfrog – a song that Adam has long considered a lost classic held under wraps for twenty years by doubters and naysayers - finally gets it’s day in the sun.
Adam Brand (1998)
Adam Brand (1998)
Good Friends (2000)
Built For Speed (2002)
Get Loud (2004)
What a Life (2006)
Blame It On Eve (2008)
Hell Of A Ride(2009)
It's Gonna Be Ok (2010)
There Will Be Love (2012)
Get Loud (2004)
What a Life (2006)
Blame It On Eve (2008)
Hell Of A Ride(2009)
It's Gonna Be Ok (2010)
There Will Be Love (2012)
My Acoustic Diary (2013)
My Side of the Street (2014)
Get On Your Feet (2017)
Milestones...20 Years (2018)
“This was a superb concert. 5 stars.” Artshub“The idea of pairing Australia’s finest up and coming pianist with our finest contemporary conductor to perform and record a cycle is a great one.”LimelightABC Classic is thrilled to announce the release of the complete piano concertos by Beethoven, performed by pianist Jayson Gillham, with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra conducted by Nicholas Carter.This cycle – the first in twenty years recorded with an Australian pianist, conductor and orchestra – is a major contribution to the ongoing celebrations of Beethoven’s 250th anniversary.Beethoven’s five piano concertos stand at the very pinnacle of classical music. Written between 1795 and 1809, they trace the evolution of Beethoven’s music from the inheritor of the Classical style perfected by Mozart and Haydn, to the inventor of a style that was entirely his own: dramatic, expressive, and revolutionary.Recorded in five concerts performed over 10 days at Adelaide’s Elder Hall in June 2019, these recordings capture a soloist, conductor and orchestra totally in synch with each other, with a shared vision for the sound world and rhetoric of these mighty works. Reviews of the concert remarked at the “chamber music-like intimacy” between the performers, with a “sense of balance and support… often never heard before within these well-known and much listened to works” (Limelight).Internationally praised for his compelling performances, Australian-British pianist Jayson Gillham is recognised as one of the finest pianists of his generation. His debut album, released in 2016, immediately reached the No. 1 spot in both the Core Classical and Classical Crossover ARIA charts, while his latest album, 2018’s Romantic Bach, was described as “exceptional” and “a supremely satisfying recital from start to finish” by Limelight, and Gramophone said that, “many of these performances must bear comparison with famous recordings of the past by Rachmaninov, Myra Hess and Dinu Lipatti. Gillham comes up trumps every time.”Nicholas Carter was appointed Principal Conductor of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra in 2016 – the first Australian to be chosen as Principal Conductor of an Australian orchestra in over 30 years – and has established a reputation as a conductor of exceptional versatility, equally at home in the concert hall and opera house, and fluent in a diverse repertoire. Newly appointed as Chief Conductor of the Stadttheater Klagenfurt and the Kärntner Sinfonieorchester, Nicholas Carter will lead three new productions per season and appear regularly in the orchestra’s concert series.With a reputation for vitality and versatility, the much loved Adelaide Symphony Orchestra is South Australia’s largest performing arts organisation, established in 1936. For over 80 years, the ASO has been there to corroborate life and contribute to South Australia’s identity. Today the ASO plays a major role in Adelaide’s cultural and economic vibrancy, and enriches the community through a diverse program of world-class performances to more than 100,000 concertgoers each season.TRACKLISTING CD1Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major, Op. 15I. Allegro con brioII. LargoIII. Rondo: Allegro scherzandoPiano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major, Op. 19I. Allegro con brioII. AdagioIII. Rondo: Molto allegroCD2Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37I. Allegro con brioII. LargoIII. Rondo: AllegroPiano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58I. Allegro moderatoII. Andante con motoIII. Rondo: VivaceCD3Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 73 ‘Emperor’I. AllegroII. Adagio un poco mossoIII. Rondo: Allegro Jayson Gillham pianoAdelaide Symphony OrchestraNicholas Carter conductor
“250 years ago, Ludwig van Beethoven, the Grand Mogul from Bonn (as Haydn cheekily referred to him) was born. The German composer, whose own extraordinary story famously includes suffering from profound deafness from his late 20s, would become regarded as the great musical liberator, forging the course of the Romantic movement and beyond.” Richard TognettiIn 2020 the Australian Chamber Orchestra will celebrate two monumental anniversaries: 30 years of fearless leadership with ACO Artistic Director Richard Tognetti and 250 years since the birth of the great Ludwig van Beethoven.To celebrate both milestones, ABC Classic is releasing a collection of the ACO’s legendary Beethoven recordings – including never-before released recordings of two of his greatest works: Symphonies 5 and 6.These recordings represent some of the orchestra’s finest performances, including two #1 albums and three ARIA Award-nominees, and feature collaborations with some of Australia’s finest artists – soprano Nicole Car, and pianistsTamara Anna Cislowska andErin Helyard.Beethoven has endured for centuries as one of the most popular and beloved composers around the world, with his music found everywhere from concert halls, to film soundtracks, to disco-era chart-toppers. He was a true musical revolutionary and is credited with paving the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras. His music has always been a mainstay of the ACO’s core repertoire, but this marks the first time that they have recorded these two monumental symphonies.Since its establishment in November 1975, the Australian Chamber Orchestra has become one of the world’s most daring and exciting ensembles, renowned globally for its inspired programming, unrivalled virtuosity, energy and individuality, showcased through an extensive and ongoing program of international touring and recordings for many of the world’s top labels.★★★★★“The Australian Chamber Orchestra was splendid in its all-Beethoven concert… [achieving] revealing clarity that gleamed like the colours of an old master newly restored.” – Sydney Morning Herald“[Beethoven’s] Fifth is always a crowdpleaser, and the ACO made it exceptionally so. This was the stuff of dreams.” – LimelightTRACKLISTING CD1Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67 *1 I. Allegro con brio2 II. Andante con moto3 III.Allegro –4 IV.AllegroSymphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68 ‘Pastoral’ *5 I. Awakening of cheerful feelings on arrival in the countryside6 II. Scene by the brook7 III.Merry gathering of country folk –8 IV.Thunder, Storm –9 V. Shepherd’s song. Cheerful and thankful feelings after the stormCD2String Quartet in B-flat major, Op. 130, with Grosse Fuge, Op. 133 (arr. for string orchestra by Richard Tognetti)1 I. Adagio ma non troppo – Allegro2 II. Presto3 III.Poco scherzoso4 IV.Alla Danza tedesca5 V. Cavatina6 VI.Grosse Fuge7 Romance for Violin and Orchestra in F major, Op. 50 Satu Vänskä– violin8 Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 73 ‘Emperor’: II. Adagio un poco mosso Tamara-Anna Cislowska– piano9 Ah! perfido ... Per pietà, non dirmi addio, Op. 65 Nicole Car – sopranoCD3Sonata for Violin and Piano in G major, Op. 30, No. 3 1 I. Allegro assai2 II. Tempo di Minuetto, ma molto moderato e grazioso3 III.Allegro vivaceSonata for Violin and Piano in A major, Op. 47 ‘Kreutzer’ 4 Ia.Adagio sostenuto –5 Ib.Presto6 II. Andante con Variazioni7 III.Presto Richard Tognetti – violin Erin Helyard– fortepiano8 Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61: I. Allegro ma non troppo Richard Tognetti– violin* Never previously released
The Huntington Estate Music Festival is one of the brightest stars in Australia’s musical firmament. For three decades, it has been bringing together top-flight musicians from around the country and around the world to present a breathtaking array of chamber music masterpieces, both iconic favourites and delicious new discoveries. Presented by the Huntington Estate Winery in association with Musica Viva Australia, and held in the winery’s Barrel Room, one of the most remarkable and surprising music venues in the world, the Festival is a delight to audiences and musicians alike.After 30 stellar years of exceptional music-making, however, the 2019 Festival will be the last, with Huntington Estate owners Tim and Nicky Stevens reluctantly deciding that their grapes – and their young family – must come first. To mark this significant occasion, ABC Classic is proud to delve into its broadcast archives to present this selection of some of the Festival’s most memorable performances across a typically diverse and intriguing range of repertoire: from Schubert and Dvořák to Bach’s astonishing eldest son Wilhelm Friedemann and Australian composers Ross Edwards and Ian Munro.It was Richard Tognetti and the Australian Chamber Orchestra who began the Festival and established it as a serious contender on the world stage – and the hottest concert tickets in the country! This album includes superb three recordings from those early years: music of Mendelssohn, Brahms and Percy Grainger.In 2006, the ACO passed the baton to Musica Viva and Artistic Director Carl Vine, opening up the Festival’s artist roster to an extraordinary range of musicians, both local and international. From among the literally hundreds of thrilling performances, this album features New York-based Australian pianist Andrea Lam, Russian-Armenian clarinettist Narek Arutyunian, the rich bass-baritone of Teddy Tahu Rhodes and Vienna’s acclaimed Eggner Trio, along with regular Festival guests the Goldner String Quartet and the rising stars of the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) Chamber Orchestra.…/2The CD of this compilation is available exclusively at the Festival itself, but for all those who can’t make the trip to Mudgee, ABC Classic is releasing the full album as a digital album, for download and streaming, so that audiences all around the world can share in the celebration. TRACKLISTING 1 MENDELSSOHN Symphony No. 3 ‘Scottish’: II. Vivace non troppo2 BRAHMS arr. ANGERER Chorale Prelude ‘O Gott, du frommer Gott’3 GRAINGER Blithe Bells Australian Chamber Orchestra, Richard Tognetti director (2002 / 2004) SCHUBERT4 An die Musik (To Music)5 Erlkönig (The Erl-King)6 Die Forelle (The Trout)7 Die Taubenpost (Pigeon Post) from Schwanengesang Teddy Tahu Rhodes bass-baritone, Kristian Chong piano (2007) WF BACH Sinfonia in F major ‘Dissonant’8 I. Vivace9 II. Andante10 III. Vivace11 IV. Menuetto I & II ANAM Chamber Orchestra, Paul Wright violin / conductor (2010) 12 ROSS EDWARDS String Quartet No. 2 ‘Shekina Fantasy’: I. Allegro moderato Goldner String Quartet (2010) MENDELSSOHN13 Song without Words Op. 67 No. 2 – Allegro leggiero14 Song without Words Op. 85 No. 4 – Andante sostenuto Andrea Lam piano (2012) 15 WEBER Clarinet Quintet in B-flat major: II. Fantasia Narek Arutyunian clarinet, Australian String Quartet (2012) MUNRO Piano Trio No. 2 ‘Book of Lullabies’ – Excerpts16 II. Lullaby in Edo17 III. Kun Mun Kultani Tulisi18 IV. Skye Boat Song Dimity Hall violin, Julian Smiles cello, Ian Munro piano (2013) 19 DVOŘÁK Piano Trio No. 1: II. Adagio molto e mesto Eggner Trio (2015)